A Dopey Law.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jun 4, 2010
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Why is Pot a Crime?

Legality is not the same thing as morality: we may think something is wrong, but it may still be legal, taxed and controlled.

Legality is not the same thing as taste: our judgment and someone else’s may be different—but our freedom to do something as long as it doesn’t hurt others, or the greater good, is, or ought to be, inviolable.

And legality is certainly not the same thing as getting rid of something. We may make pot or other drugs, or speeding for that matter, illegal—but it doesn’t make it go away.

If we want to discourage something or the bad effects that something may have, the best way to do so is make it legal, often: control it, tax it, keep it safe and out in the daylight.

So why is pot illegal? I don’t smoke—the Buddhist tradition in which I was raised, and still practice, regards excessive smoking as akin to inviting “clouds of ignorance into one’s mind.” But I don’t view it as a bad thing, as something that, if I did smoke it, would hurt others.

And as we’ve seen in cities where pot is, increasingly, legal to buy (if not smoke in public), it’s a boon to the economy—and probably generally results in reduced crime and ridiculous jail sentences.

All this may be obvious to you and I—but fact is, the conventional wisdom is still such that no politician with any power would dare suggest, let alone promote, the federal decriminalization of marijuana.

May we see that change within our lifetime!


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “A Dopey Law.”

  1. LasaraAllen says:

    The change is upon us, Waylon!

    From the heart of the medical marijuana revolution,

    P.S. I don't smoke either. But the economy of the area I live in would be shot to hell without the income produced by marijuana – medical and otherwise.

  2. integralhack says:

    I agree completely and I have the munchies. Doritos!

  3. elizabeth says:

    While I agree that making things illegal doesn't help the situation, I also think it also behooves us to be really discriminating about what does cause harm, to ourselves and to others. The same cloudiness of mind that you refer to can impair decision making and can also cause people to really check out. This things can be quite harmful to others, particularly children.

  4. […] Even Sarah Palin thinks our police force’s precious time would be better spent enforcing laws that matter. […]